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First nebula shot with guiding


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It's been difficult to get outside the last few months. Even as it's being getting darker earlier, with two kids under two I'm up so early the thought of being outside until 2-3am is unbearable.

About five nights ago I went for it, got aligned and was close to taking shots after setting up the synguider and all kinds of malarkey and then after 90 minutes of setup knocked my mount way out of polar alignment with a careless boot. I packed up learning a lesson to be more patient and careful next time.

Anyway, got out last night and was imaging nice and early with everything setup properly for once. I live in a pretty light polluted area and normally travel away a bit to image but thought I'd have a go in the garden and was pretty pleased with the results I got. I'd taken a quick single two minute image of the ring nebula quite some time ago so was pretty excited to have a shot at a nebula with some better gear.

This was with literally 5 minutes of editing with Startools before bed so I'm sure more detail can possibly be teased out. Full credit goes to that program rather than my processing skills. I can't speak highly enough of it.

18 x 4 min exposures at ISO 800 with Astronomix CLS filter.

dumbellnebula_zps234433ae.png

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Thanks for the comments.

The synguider really takes a bit of patience to learn properly to get the results from it, but when you get the hang of it, it works brilliantly and can be setup quickly. In an ideal world I would be guiding with a laptop, but I head to a dark site more often than not so this works for me for the time being.

I would recommend to anybody, but you really do need to take your time with the manual.

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Yeah all done with the ED80. When I cleared away the noise I was surprised at the detail captured actually. I live in a really well lit area so that Cls filter is a must.

I may add more data to it next time I head out.

Thanks again for the comments guys.

Edited by ubertank
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Matt, as it happens I took a photo that very night.

The setup looks like this:

20130801_223936_zpsbeaf3ccc.jpg

I'm using an ST80 as the guide scope and the ED80 has a FR/FF attached.

I do love my ED80. I wish I had something better for observing and may pick up a reflector at some point soon for that purpose, but for imaging I love it.

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Thanks for the comments.

The synguider really takes a bit of patience to learn properly to get the results from it, but when you get the hang of it, it works brilliantly and can be setup quickly. In an ideal world I would be guiding with a laptop, but I head to a dark site more often than not so this works for me for the time being.

I would recommend to anybody, but you really do need to take your time with the manual.

Thanks Uber, I've had one for about 10 months and like you I like to take things out to dark sites so the less running from the lappy the better but I've struggled with it big time. My last ditch effort is to upgrade my guidescope to an ST80 (which was purchased a few weeks ago) and try with that. I don't think the old guidescope/finderscope worked well at all and was most of my problem. I just struggle getting it to focus and/or find anything in the first place.

Will

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Hi there Will,

You'll certainly find more joy using an ST80 I would imagine, although with the Synguider I have managed to get the system locked onto fairly faint stars now. I had a real pain getting my head around it too so am happy to share a bit of advice in case it helps. I'm unsure if you could get it to work appropriately with just a finderscope could you as it doesn't focus? - I could be way wrong and fcusing finderscopes could exist, but I'm a bit of a newbie and may not have heard of them. In any case, if you're using a small frac to guide here's what I do:

Find a bright star like Vega, which you know the synguider will easily detect. Follow the instructions in the manual to the letter at this stage balancing noise and exposure to get an appropriate BRI level. Be sure to zoom right in on the star with the synguider to make the start as big as possible on the display and focus the scope to get the star as small as possible.

At this stage LOCK the focuser and don't adjust again. Take out the synguider and put in a 10mm lens with the par-focal ring around it. Once again get the star as small as possible and lock the ring around the lens. Once this is done I know I have the focuser exactly where it needs to be to make stars as easily "seeable" as possible for the synguider.

I then GOTO my imaging target and get it centred in the camera. Once this is done I look through the 10mm parfocal lens and find a decent star. I use ADM guidescope rings to give me good flexibilitry when finding a decent star. I get it locked in the centre of the 10mm and put the guider back in.

I then adjust the exposure to get a good brightness level and tweak the noise settings to find a good brightness level. Anything less than 15 I tend not to settle for. Once this is done (and this is another key part) I centre the star on the middle of the cross. I then move the mount and ensure the star moves perfectly in line with the crosshair. If it doesn't, I rotate the guider slightly to make sure it moves along with crosshair both up and down.

Once this is done I just lock it automatically, it grabs the star and then I set it to auto guiding and I'm sorted.

I hope that helps. I'm working at the moment so it's a bit "rambly", but I know how frustrating a piece of kit it can be until you get it sorted so though whatever I could do to help may be worthwhile.

Good luck.

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Thanks Uber, definitely going to follow those instructions. I've tried exactly the same process with the existing set up and it's always struggled. It was actually with the guidescope/finderscope that comes with the WO GTF81 and - whilst you can focus it - it works really poorly and I'm sure is the root of my problems.

Will

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